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Maple Grove, CRC invite Clintonville to have a seat

Tiny chairs with artists' embellishments to be auctioned to benefit Kids Club at church Satruday, April 5

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More than 40 school chairs will be auctioned during the Chairitable Art Show from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at Maple Grove United Methodist Church, 7 W. Henderson Road.

Charity may begin at home, and it also begins at Maple Grove United Methodist Church.

An art auction, gallery show and concert will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the church, 7 W. Henderson Road.

It's being billed as a Chairitable Art Show, and proceeds will benefit the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center's Kids Club after-school program at the church.

Offered for auction will be more than 40 school chairs dating from the 1950s and '60s that have been decorated by local artists, most of them members of the Clintonville Arts Guild, said Dawn Nauman, director of child and family ministries at Maple Grove.

The church became home to the second CRC Kids Club last fall in the largely vacant upper education wing, Nauman said.

"We had to kind of move out the old furniture," she added, which included what she described as "these teeny-tiny preschool chairs."

Nauman hit upon the idea of asking artists to transform the chairs from uncomfortable seating for children into works of art after consulting with Cliff Wiltshire, development director at the resources center.

"I just think it's an awfully creative way to reuse some old chairs and get the arts community involved," Wiltshire said.

"We always love it when a group of people want to raise money for one of our programs, and we're happy to help. This is just a natural because the dollars are going right back into the Kids Club."

About 25 students participate in the Maple Grove United Methodist Church club, Wiltshire said. The other 75 or so attend the Kids Club at Clinton Heights Lutheran Church.

The artists who took on the challenge of the chairs, Nauman said, have been especially creative. One carved a chair into flowers, while another adorned the entire surface with bottle caps.

"There are chairs that look like thrones for royalty," she said.

Wiltshire and Nauman both said people of a certain age have vivid, if not fond, recollections of these types of chairs.

"That's been one of the neat things," Wiltshire said. "I have a couple of the chairs sitting outside my office. Every time somebody sees one, you can see in their face kind of an expression of the memory they had of using those chairs or having their kids sitting in those chairs."

The bidding for the chairs will include a minimum price, based on the materials the artist put into each one, as well as a buy-it-now price, Nauman said.

A gallery showing of works by arts guild members also will be open during the event, and the Newlands, consisting of husband-and-wife singers Mike and Julia Newland, will perform in the fellowship hall. Coffee, provided by Crimson Cup, and desserts will be available in the Fellowship Hall, and there will be activities and crafts for children, Nauman said.

"We are asking people to come, fall in love with a chair and support kids having reasonable after-school care in Clintonville," she said.

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